Diablo Meets The Avengers in Marvel Heroes
I think it’s fairly safe to say that the release of Diablo III in May last year managed to touch a nerve with most fans of the series. Not to say that it was necessarily a bad game, it was just that once you dug past the server launch issues, the underwhelming storyline, the simplified ability system and the heavy reliance on cash and/or in-game currency auction house – odds are you had found a reason to start things off on a bad note.
And of course the later announcement that it would be coming to consoles (which confirmed a lot of the “dumbed down for consoles” doomsday theories) didn’t exactly help the medicine go down.
Which is why it might be good news to a lot of Diablo fans that a cheap and potentially great alternative will soon be on the market in Marvel Heroes.
Don’t let the name fool you; this is as far from an Avengers tie-in game as you can possible get (while still including the super heroes which make-up said Avengers). Developed by Gazillion Entertainment with the seasoned hands of David Brevik (the visionary behind the original Diablo and Diablo II) at the wheel, Marvel Heroes is a free-to-play MMO/ARPG (see: Diablo-style game) which takes all the spellbinding fun of looting and levelling out of the Blizzard universe and securely plants it deep in Marvel territory.
Sound interesting? Not only has it been crafted by the original mind behind Diablo (and likely the only person left in the industry who can say “Diablo” without immediately conjuring negative emotions), but it’s written by well-known comic book author Brian Michael Bendis – who has crafted more than a few major Marvel comics in his day.
Gameplay is pretty much as expected. You play as one of 20+ heroes from the Marvel universe (including well known staples like Wolverine and Spider-Man, alongside lesser known characters like Nova and Rocket Raccoon) fighting crime and taking names, along the way picking up new powers, new gear and even new heroes which are available through drops.
Marvel Heroes has also adopted the popular League of Legends free-to-play model, with the initial game coming completely free and a micro transaction shop providing a range of optional goodies and accessories to tempt you into spending your hard earned real-world currency.
Will it be able to replicate Diablo IIIs initial success? And will it win over fans who felt let down by Blizzards latest entry? Well we’ll find out over the next week or so as early-bird (see: paid) users are given access leading up to the global release on June 4th.